The Monolith, Lyon Confluence (France) – Project delivered

Emmanuel Combarel, Dominique Marrec as Architects

The Monolith is born of a dialogue between a client ING and five European architects: MVRDV, Erick Van Egeraat, Manuelle Gautrand, Pierre Gautier, ECDM (Emmanuel Combarel Dominique Marrec architects).


The result is ”a 5 hands” architecture, which the value and wealth result from the combination of common rules to a variety of treatments. The Monolith, born of an intelligent and productive agreement, offers its users and inhabitants an inventive urbanity. Inhabiting Lyon Confluence is, above all, living in the Lyon Centre with its services, its cultural landscape, its animation. Therefore, it’s the duty of our project to preserve the qualities and values of the historic city by redefining a new, contemporaneous lifestyle, guided by 2 strong and converging aspirations: a modern environment and a healthy quality of life, taking into account the requirements for the implementation of sustainable development. Naturally, the purpose is to tend to a more complex city, in a “Tetris attitude” considering combination, to put up scenarios for improbable events, to propose, without mimicry or formal posture, a sedimentation characteristic of the ancient city centers. The approach is programmatic; the building shelters, contains, adds all together: shops, disabled residence, residential hotel, residential housing, social housing, and office.


The project is slice of urbanity, social realism, transversal proposal for diversity; a synthetic and ambiguous architecture with a common denominator: same quality of facades for all the included programs, the same envelope without any hierarchy or social expressionism , a picture showing a cautious neutrality towards any functional determinism. Maybe some day, same as the traditional workshops in Lyon, the housing will turn into offices and vice versa. Our building is an element of sedimentation, embedded in a complex and rigorous urban composition. The purpose is the inclusion of a building in an urban landscape, a work to the service of the lot, in direct intersection with the surrounding buildings. Our project precisely fits into the templates, alignments, frames, the values that govern the whole of the lot. So the plot consists of 2 parallel constructions, which optimize the characteristics and constraints of the site in terms of view, sunlight and animation disturbances.

Lyon Confluence

(designed by) Erick van Egeraat as Architects

The Monolith is a mixed use building by Erick van Egeraat for ING Real Estate Development France in collaboration with French architects Combarel-Marrec, Manuelle Gautrand, Pierre Gautier and the Dutch Architect Winy Maas. This superblock is part of urban renewal project Lyon Confluence. This inner urban renewal project transforms a derelict former industrial area into a contemporary element of Lyon’s city center. For this project of 32.000m2 each of the five participating architect designed a specific section of the building. Erick van Egeraat designed the Northeastern entrance section of 7.000m2. The section consist of offices and apartments with an elevated entrance and underground carpark. Special attention was given in accentuating the façade which is primarily constructed in glass and wood. An irregular pattern accentuated by vertical wooden fins introduces a surprising element which counteracts with largely horizontal orientation of the other sections. Special attention has been giving to the sustainable nature, construction and use of this building. This superblock is one of the key-elements of the Lyon Confluence development. Due to its sheer scale it forms a strong and vital urban element.

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